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The Last Olympian: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 5

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The Last Olympian: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 5 Book Poster Image
Fantasy series' excellent conclusion ups the violence.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 127 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Ancient Greek myths and characters are woven in throughout. 

Positive Messages

Friendship triumphs over all.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Percy stands up for the rights of the downtrodden. He remains loyal to his friends and Camp Half-Blood. Grover becomes a true leader in his own right.


Lots -- far more than the earlier books in the series. The entire book is nearly nonstop battles, with many killings and injuries of major and minor characters and bystanders by sword, arrow, spear, gun, explosion, poison, acid, fire, claw, and tooth. Monsters are stabbed in the eye several times.


A couple of kisses.


Car, motorcycle, toy, sneaker, electronics, clothing, drink, and peanut butter brands are mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the conclusion to this popular fantasy series has much more violence than the previous books. The whole thing is nearly nonstop battles, with many killings and injuries of major and minor characters and bystanders by various methods (including sword, arrow, spear, gun, explosion, poison, acid, fire, claw, and tooth). Many brand names are also mentioned, and some parents may be disturbed by the vision of the afterlife presented in the book.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written bystuhlly December 9, 2009
I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Parent of a 2, 4, 6, and 8 year old Written byjennwhitmer October 14, 2010
I enjoyed the story, and it's action packed. The biggest problem is with the way the demigods were conceived. There is a lot of talk about the gods sleepin... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old February 24, 2014

The best book in history, even if we count all the Harry Potter books together!

I never laughed so much in a book ! When there is a (really) dangerous situation Rick Riordan make you laugh with sentences like "Using a phone for half-bl... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old December 31, 2010

Another good book for tweens!!!

Percy Jackson is two words: awe-some! I havent read it yet but it has to be good because the other ones are good! I have not seen the movie yet, either!

What's the story?

In the conclusion to the five-volume Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Kronos and his vast armies of monsters and minor gods finally launch their assault on Mt. Olympus, which means attacking the island of Manhattan. Because the gods are away dealing with Typhon -- the worst monster of all time, who's escaped from his prison under Mt. St. Helens -- it is left to the vastly overmatched and outnumbered demigods, led by Percy, to protect New York and Olympus.

Is it any good?

The series thunders to an epic conclusion in this volume, and it's hard to imagine how it could possibly be more satisfying. Everything is amped up here -- the action and violence, to be sure, but also the friendships and relationships, the ethical dilemmas, the scope, and even the delving into the more arcane corners of Greek mythology. And Percy, the delightfully humorous and self-deprecating teen protagonist, comes charging fully into his own as a true hero, one who's fully in command of his powers but is also caring, concerned about others (including his enemies sometimes), and willing to let others be heroes, too, even at his own expense.

Amidst all the exciting action, with gigantic battles that ravage the United States and shake New York to its foundations, it's Percy's growth -- both heroically and personally and echoed by growth in many of the other characters (even the gods) -- that makes this book so tremendously satisfying for fans. Up until now, the books have been top-notch formula fiction. But with this concluding chapter, author Rick Riordan raises the whole series into that timeless realm of children's fantasy fiction that's likely to last well beyond its current popularity.

From the Book:
Inside, a row of yellow turbines the size of grain silos churned and hummed. Pressure gauges and computer terminals lined the opposite wall. A telkhine was hunched over a console, but he was so involved with his work, he didn't notice us. He was about five feet tall, with slick black seal fur and stubby little feet. He had the head of a Doberman, but his clawed hands were almost human. He growled and muttered as he tapped on his keyboard. Maybe he was messaging his friends on uglyface.com.

I stepped forward, and he tensed, probably smelling something was wrong. He leaped sideways toward a big red alarm button, but I blocked his path. He hissed and lunged at me, but one slice of Riptide, and he exploded into dust.

"One down," Beckendorf said. "About five thousand to go." He tossed me a jar of thick green liquid -- Greek fire, one of the most dangerous magical substances in the world. Then he threw me another essential tool of demigod heroes -- duct tape.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the series' premise. What signs of Greek myth do we find in the modern world? Why do Greek myths have such enduring appeal? How have they shaped our culture? If we like the stories so much, why is the religion they come from not practiced any more?

  • Families can also discuss how the violence in this book compares to that in earlier volumes of the series. Is it gratuitous or necessary for the story? Did any of it bother you?

Book details

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